Hibernians helping Hibernians

On Dec. 15, the first of the Storm Relief donations were distributed in Long Beach, Nassau County; Rockaway, Queens County; Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn; and Forked River, New Jersey.

National President Brendan Moore, Past National President and Storm Relief Chairman Seamus Boyle, National Board members Jere Cole, Chip McLean and Dan Dennehy, as well as Hibernian Charity Secretary Ed Dougherty traveled to all four locations for the distribution of checks to grateful Hibernians.

Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny joined the group in support of the Hibernian effort.

Brooklyn President Jim Sullivan, Noel Kilkenny, Brendan Moore, Siobhan Dennehy (President, Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers), and Director Jere Cole at Baile Na NGeal.

Brooklyn President Jim Sullivan, Noel Kilkenny, Brendan Moore, Siobhan Dennehy (President, Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers), and Director Jere Cole at Baile Na NGeal.

President Brendan Moore presented a check to AOH Disaster Relief recipient.

President Brendan Moore presented a check to AOH Disaster Relief recipient.

President Moore, Disaster Committee Chair Boyle and Committee with New York and Connecticut state Presidents.

President Moore, Disaster Committee Chair Boyle and Committee with New York and Connecticut state Presidents.

Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny with Mr. and Mrs. John T. Ridge at Baile NaNGael.

Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny with Mr. and Mrs. John T. Ridge at Baile NaNGael.

A Rockaway AOH family

A Rockaway AOH family

President Brendan Moore

By the time you receive this edition of the Hibernian Digest we will be well into 2013, but I still want to wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year on behalf of your National Board.


As 2012 drew to a close, much of the focus was on Northern Ireland issues. While Britain’s

Da Silva Report into the decades-ago assassination of attorney Patrick Finucane clearly pointed to security forces colluding with loyalist paramilitaries, there was an obvious attempt to avoid any hint that such collusion had been sanctioned by the higher/highest reaches of the British government. In addition, the AOH continued its official opposition to the exercise of subpoena power in support of British security forces’ efforts to make available Boston College’s confidential interviews with individuals associated with pre-Agreement hostilities in the North. This misuse of the provisions of the U.S.-U.K. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) has prompted the AOH to join with the Irish American Unity Conference and the Brehon Law Society in filing an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court. (The case is being pursued by The Hastings Group on a pro bono basis.)  On another front, our National Political Education Chairman, Joe Roche, coordinated with our National Freedom For All Ireland Chairman, Sean Pender, to renew the AOH campaign to encourage all levels of government in the U.S. to endorse the “Resolution For a United Ireland.” An explanation of the purpose and procedures was outlined in a letter to division presidents.


Division Presidents. Please be sure that your Annual Assessment and Annual Report have been forwarded to National Secretary Tom McNabb.


State Presidents, Please be sure that all requested information on upcoming state conventions has been sent to National Vice President Jim McKay.


You are both witnessing and performing miracles with the help and the hope you provide to others! As I got myself together for a demanding travel day very early on the morning of Saturday, December 15, I felt I couldn’t and shouldn’t leave the house without first forwarding an email to express the shock and regret of our National Board to Connecticut State President William Flannery, less than twenty-four hours after the tragic invasion of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Members of our Storm Relief Committee (Seamus Boyle, Jere Cole, Chip McLean, Dan Dennehy) along with Hibernian Charity’s Secretary Ed Dougherty (We needed him to sign the checks!), were on the road with me to distribute checks from your many generous AOH-LAOH donations. The stop in Long Beach (Nassau County) was followed by Rockaway (Queens), Gerritsen Beach (Brooklyn), and finally Forked River, New Jersey.  The only AOH hall in New York City is in Gerritsen Beach. Essentially it is the frame that now remains, but despite this it was being used as a supply and coordination point for relief and repair. It was there that I met the Connecticut State President (whom I emailed earlier), the New York State President, and the New York County President, in addition to many Hibernians from Queens, Saratoga, Albany, and elsewhere. They were giving their weekend in an effort to tear down to later build up. They brought hope with them and so did your generous and desperately needed checks!


This is what YOU have accomplished:

  • “We would like to take this opportunity to express a sincere thank you for all the help you have given not only to us, but all victims of Superstorm Sandy. The generous gifts of cleaning supplies, generators, gas, volunteers, and money to help the clean-up and rebuilding of homes will never be forgotten. There is a long road ahead for many, but with your continued love, support, and prayers we will all be back to normal some day.” (Family of Brooklyn County President Jim Sullivan)
  • “My family and I send our heartfelt thanks to you for the disaster relief assistance provided to us. It could not have come at a better time. It is deeply appreciated.” (Blessinger Family of Long Beach)
  • “Thank you for supporting our corporation’s recovery efforts due to Hurricane Sandy. Brendan, this February I will celebrate my 62nd year as a member of this organization and I was never so proud of being a Hibernian as I was this past Saturday.” (Al O’Hagan, Corporation President, AOH Hall in Gerritsen Beach)


Donations, Applications for Assistance, Additional Miracles still being accepted!


Vice President Judge Jim McKay

Hope all is well and wishing all my brothers a prosperous New Year.  Hopefully by the time you are reading this, spring will be on its way and you will begin to think about the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

Recently letters were sent to National Board members and Division Presidents requesting nominations for the Sean McBride Award.  The constitution requires that nominations be in by January 20, so by the time you have read this article all nominations will be in.  The final result will be published in the next Digest issue.  As you know, this very prestigious award will be presented at the next President’s Dinner to be held in New York City in October on behalf of our National President, Brendan Moore.

Queries have also been made to our State Presidents for information on our State conventions which will be held this summer as per our Constitution.  As soon as I receive the requested information I will have it published in our Hibernian Digest so that all brothers who are interested in going to their own state conventions or other state conventions will have the materials for their perusal.

I have also requested information from our Major Degree Teams for their scheduled presentations as well as their scheduled travel plans for the upcoming year.  This will afford our brothers who haven’t received our Major Degree an opportunity to obtain their Degree at a convenient time and place.

The Label Program is winding down and as of this date over nineteen hundred checks have been sent in with an average of just under twenty dollars per donation.  Our organization has traditionally endorsed this fundraiser over the years and thanks to the loyalty and generosity of our members they should be commended.

Our Executive Board had been diligently working at ironing out the minor details for our next two convention sites, St. Louis, 2014 and Atlantic City, 2016.  Information concerning the St. Louis convention will be forthcoming sometime in late summer so that State committeemen can start preparing for this National convention.

I hope that all have a meaningful and Holy St. Patrick’s Day and as Hibernians we should strive to keep a proper perspective for all our celebration.


God Bless

Editor John O’Connell

I drove through Long Beach, Long Island, in mid-January and it was clear that residents and businesses are still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. I’m sure it’s the same in the other Long Island communities like East Rockaway, Point Lookout, Oceanside, Island Park, also the Rockaways, Staten Island, and the hard-hit areas of New Jersey and Connecticut.

It makes me so proud to be a Hibernian when I see division members and officers, county officers and state officers drive sometimes hundreds of miles to help fellow Hibernians in such need. Thanks to your donations, our national board’s relief fund is a Godsend to many families who are still struggling just to have decent shelter and the basic necessities. It is also so wonderful that brothers came to those areas with strong backs and helpful hearts. This was hard labor to help homeowners rip out sheetrock and clean homes, but Hibernians demonstrated all three dimensions of our motto by giving up their own time to travel in some cases long distances to help their brother and sister members of the Order.

God bless the Hibernians who have contributed in whatever way they are able to help their fellow members of the Order.



For all those national officers, state presidents and others who want to submit articles to the Digest, here are the general deadlines for getting your copy and high-quality photos to me: I need your submissions no later than the first of the first month of each issue. For example, Jan. 1 for the Jan-Feb issue, May 1 for the May-June issue, Nov. 1 for the Nov-Dec issue. There are two exceptions: The deadline for the March-April issue will be immediately after St. Patrick’s Day; and the deadline for the July-Aug issue is right after your conventions. Otherwise, St. Patrick’s Day events would be seen in June (too late!) and convention news wouldn’t be read until October! So the March-April deadline is March 22 and the July-Aug deadline is 19. Any questions, just email me at editorhiberniandigest@yahoo.com.


Digest volunteers

My fellow Nassau County Division 8 brother, Robert Lynch, is the new assistant editor with responsibility for the online version of the Hibernian Digest. His email address is anpiobaire@aol.com. The former online Digest assistant editor, Joe McDonald, was appointed by President Brendan Moore to be the National Webmaster, so I’ve asked Bob Lynch to replace Joe on the “Digital Digest.” Don’t send any online Digest inquiries to Joe anymore; he has enough to do with the national and New York state websites — and doing a fabulous job at it! All questions and submissions for our digital Digest should still go through me and I’ll pass them ob to Bob Lynch. Congratulations to Robert and to Joe.

Another vacancy exists, however, on the Digest’s staff of volunteers. We need a sales manager to sell advertisements for the Hibernian Digest. Printing the Digest every two months is a major expense for the Order. Our annual dues pay for that expense. The only offset is revenue from advertising. As you can see, not many ads are being sold. This would be the perfect part-time activity for one of our brothers who is a retired salesman. Even a currently employed salesman may have the time to manage our sales effort and sell some ads. Please contact me at editorhiberniandigest@yahoo.com so we can talk.



Historical Happenings – Mike McCormack

In this, my first column of the new year, I hesitate to reiterate old goals, but I fear I must.  I’m still waiting for many of the State Histories that the appointed State Historians were challenged to send me.  State Presidents, you know if your State Historian did his job or not and I put it to you that those members who organized, founded and maintained the organization in your state deserve to be remembered in the archives of the AOH.  I will now accept and acknowledge any state histories from any member who is so inclined to write one for the archives.

It is not too late to prepare a thoughtful and positive story of the contributions of the Irish to America for distribution to local newspapers, politicians and radio/TV media as they prepare their St. Patrick’s Day stories and commemorations.  If you need ideas on those contributions, check AOH.COM website and link to history; there are three years worth of monthly stories there.  If that’s not enough, check the three years worth of monthly stories at NYAOH.COM.  If that’s still not enough, contact me with an e-mail address and I will give you more!  There should be no excuse for bad press if the truth is properly disseminated; further, it will provide us with the opportunity to denounce the perpetrator’s defense that ‘they just didn’t know any better’.  It’s your heritage, defend it!

Congratulations to AOH Divisions 3, 8 and 9 in Suffolk County, NY who built a Creche for public display this past Christmas and to the Selden Fire Department for allowing it to stand on their firehouse property facing the much-traveled Route 25.  While that may have been a great example of Hibernians standing for the faith, we emphatically denounce the criminals who defaced a figure of the child, Jesus, in a Pearl River Creche.  Will this be treated as a hate crime?  It would have if it had been a Menorah that was destroyed.  We’ll see!

I wish a happy, healthy and successful New Year to all my brothers and sisters.

Political Education – Joe Roche

The National Re-Unite Ireland Campaign has been launched. All levels of our organization should be planning a local effort to gain as many completed endorsed messages of hope for a timely reunification of our ancestral homeland.

Individual members should be aware that all related resolution-gaining materials are in the hands of their state presidents and the national directors assigned to their individual states.

We ask each brother and sister Hibernian to become a committee of one to review the sample resolutions provided to select his or her target group, be it a labor union, community organization or fraternal/social group. Each brother and sister Hibernian should then request a time when they could ask for support in gaining a resolution to gain a 32 “County Ireland.”

The “Action Alert Package” sent to each division includes a list of nine “Talking Points” that should be helpful in convincing interested groups that a Reunited Ireland would bring peace and stability to that troubled part of the world.

You might ask what to do with the completed resolutions from your local area? First and foremost, publicize the accomplishment in your local news in an effort to educate the public that Ireland is still divided and in need of our country’s assistance and public support. Second, if you have started small and got a local union or school board to complete a resolution, use that as a spring board for a larger elected body such as a city council or state legislature. They could be influenced by your success.

Our ultimate goal for the campaign is to gain as many certified resolutions to be presented to our country’s leaders to convince them that it is the will of the people that Ireland should be free and united from sea to sea and to be able to form their our destiny.

So that we can recognize your efforts properly, please send your completed resolutions to Sean Pender and myself. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments – e-mail us. We’re here to help.

Remember, we all took an oath to work through legitimate means to secure a United Ireland.

Joe Roche Sean Pender
P.E.C. F.F.A.I.
jar32aoh@aol.com paddyspeed@yahoo.com

Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund

Many parts of the Northeast have been devastated. Hurricane Sandy has left us with unimaginable misery in terms of destruction, dislocation, and despair. Areas with extremely high concentrations of Hibernians truly resemble war zones where dark and heatless homes faced this frigid morning with temperatures averaging 25 degrees.

I realize you have seen the tremendous loss on TV. A neighbor of mine told me that when a newscaster showed people burning their own furniture to stay warm, he had to stop looking at the evening news.

But we, as Hibernians, cherish an Irish Catholic legacy that compels us not to look away, but instead to consistently respond to the needs of those among us and around us. If we are to fulfill the enduring mission of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, then we know that it is our responsibility to reach out with assistance and the support of our prayers so that spirits broken by a sense of helplessness will not soon be crushed by an added burden of hopelessness.

In an emergency conference call last night, the AOH National Board unanimously voted to donate $25,000 for AOH Storm Relief. In addition, a program has been authorized to both process donations and provide an opportunity for Hibernians impacted in various ways to request assistance from their Hibernian Brothers. We are counting on the generosity of our State Boards, County Boards, Divisions, and all Hibernians everywhere. If every Division, County Board, and State Board were to contribute at least $200, we would total well in excess of $100,000 without even counting the generous donations from each of our members!


  • All checks MUST be written: Pay To The Order of Hibernian Charity.
  • Memo portion of your check MUST read: AOH Storm Relief.
  • Send all donations to Edward Dougherty, Hibernian Charity Sec—7236 Brous Ave, Phila, PA 19149

AOH Storm Relief Request Forms available from: State Presidents OR aoh.com (website)  OR from Seamus Boyle–3097 Willits Road, Philadelphia, PA 19114 (shay39@comcast.net)

Brothers, because the will of God is the need of the hour, I ask this entire Order to please respond generously and immediately.

Fraternally and gratefully,

Brendan Moore
AOH National President

Download this letter here

Download Storm Relief Application Word | PDF | Apply Online


Father Patrick Sullivan, C.S.C., to receive JFK Award

The Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians have just announced that they will jointly present the prestigious John F. Kennedy Memorial Award to Father Patrick Sullivan at their upcoming National Convention scheduled for this July in Verona, New York. Father Pat is a nationally recognized leader in the Labor-Management field. In his teaching, administrative and consultancy roles, he has successfully sought to bring a Gospel perspective to the promotion of justice on the work-front.

“Members of the AOH and LAOH National Boards, as well as State Presidents of both organizations, selected him based on nominations received from throughout the U.S.,” said Brendan Moore, JFK Award Chairman/AOH National Vice President. “It’s a joint award given to a Roman Catholic of Irish birth or descent, outstanding in his or her field of endeavor.”

Maureen Shelton, JFK Vice Chair/LAOH National Vice President added, “The award is one of the highest honors the AOH and LAOH bestow, and only 31 have been awarded since its inception in 1966.”

Past recipients have included Colonel James McDevitt, USAF, Astronaut of Gemini IV and Apollo IX; Actor Pat O’Brien; Mayors Richard J. Daley of Chicago and Raymond L. Flynn of Boston; His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York; and Nobel Prize winner John Hume, among other prominent Irish and Irish-American dignitaries.

Born and raised in Manhattan, Father Pat attended Catholic elementary and secondary schools before entering the Congregation of Holy Cross on August 15, 1948. Ordained a Holy Cross priest on June 8, 1956, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fall River, Massachusetts, he has earned academic degrees from The University of Notre Dame, Fordham University and Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Father Sullivan has held the rank of Assistant Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at The Research Institute, as well as Chairman of the Sociology Department while at Kings College. He has been Associate Director of The Higgins Labor Research Center, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Undergraduate Program in Sociology at his alma mater, The University of Notre Dame. In addition, Father Pat has served as Director of Personnel and Planning for the Holy Cross Fathers, Executive Coordinator of the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators, and Director of Urban Affairs at The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.

Having served as AOH National Chaplain from 2002 through 2006 and again from 2008 to 2009, Father Pat re-located to Boston to assume the role of Executive Secretary and Chaplain of the Labor Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston. The Guild is an ecumenical organization sponsored by the Archdiocese and composed of a membership of more than 1,300 labor relations arbitrators and educators, as well as corporation and union leaders who advocate healthy and productive employee relations.

A noted labor rights scholar and practitioner, Father Sullivan is also a member of the Steering Committee of Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice, is active locally in labor management issues, and is a former faculty member and associate director of the Higgins Labor Research Center at the University of Notre Dame.

Father Sullivan has authored several books on the Catholic Church and Labor-Management relations, including U.S. Catholic Institutions and Labor Unions, 1960-1980, Blue Collar-Roman Collar-White Collar: U.S. Catholic Involvement in Labor Management, and Catholic Social Teaching on Labor-Management Issues: Vatican & International Hierarchies. He plans to soon publish Labor Priests from 1900 to the 1960s, the first of three books on the subject of labor priests.

Ned McGinley, AOH Past National President, Kings College colleague and close personal friend, has commented: “Not surprisingly, Father Pat’s membership and ministry among his fellow Hibernians enabled him to counsel, provide direction, and serve as a moral compass throughout the Order. He truly promoted the ideals of the AOH, not only within the United States, but on the streets of Belfast and Derry as well. He has enriched us with his faith, his serenity, and his ever-present humor.”

Director’s Report

My second term of National Director comes to a close in July and I can’t help but to think I should be receiving a graduate degree in Turning Stone this summer. You have given me the opportunity to learn so much about Irish Immigration, Northern Ireland and Ireland politics, Pro Life issues in the United States and Ireland, and so much more on the issues of Irish America. The assistance we have received from our pears on the National Board, our State Presidents and most importantly our AOH Brothers from around the country has been invaluable to the success of the National Board over the last four years. Thank you all for the assistance.

As I prepare for the National Convention I have reviewed several articles on recruiting for fraternal organizations around the country. Our current membership target group, “Generation Y” range in age from 30 to 45.  “Gen Y, sometimes referred to as the Echo Boomers because of their huge numbers (according to the US Census there are three times as many Gen Ys as there are Gen Xers), has a reputation for being extremely peer-oriented due, in part, to its reliance on instant communication technologies and the Internet, including email, IMs, texting and social media components like YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.” (from Yourmembership.com)

What does this information tell us about recruiting for the AOH. First, we have a large pool of new potential candidates. These candidates are going to need one-on-one recruitment, and when we land one new candidate from this group we can expect him to bring along his qualified pears.  It is also going to be important to communicate and involve the new recruits outside the conventional formats. For many in Generation Y they have moved beyond telephone voicemail and rely on even more instant communication. The good news is a simple search of Facebook reveals a large number of Division, County and State AOH pages designed to recruit and inform our members. Great Job everyone.

Our continued success as an order is going to depend on you. With the above information in mind we need to work together to recruit as many new members as possible. We need each member to make a commitment to recruit at least one new member this year. They are out there, and you will most likely find them this summer during the festival season.  Have your AOH business cards in hand at all times, make the personal contact, follow up with e-mails and even texts, deliver the new recruit and then Involve the new member. New member involvement is critical to our retention. Remember, your job doesn’t end during the installation of your recruit, your job ends when your new recruit becomes the new recruiter for our order.

On the recruiting front, the on-line application flow has begun to slow down as we move beyond St. Patrick’s Day. We had great follow up from our State Presidents with regard to these. Now we need you to beat the bushes for your next recruit.

Director Keith Carney joins our Brothers in NY, PA , NC and around the country who have created new divisions with the initiation of not one but two new divisions, one in Delaware and one in Maryland. Brother Carney also expects a new college division in Maryland likely prior to the convention. This again demonstrates to me the success of the AOH depends on Team Work and a commitment to recruitment!


In addition to my duties as organizer, I also had the opportunity to represent President Boyle in Washington DC for a State Department round table. I joined FFAI Chair, Sean Pender; Immigration Chair, Dan Dennehy; Director Keith Carney; and 20 other Irish American leaders from around the country. This invitation again demonstrates the role in the AOH in America goes far beyond the confines or our Order.  I’m sure this meeting will be addressed in more detail elsewhere in this digest however I would be remiss not to mention the great work of our brothers in attendance. Sean Pender and the AOH have become the American voice on Northern Ireland and Dan Dennehy found a way to tie immigration into the brief of the state department. Great Job brothers.

In closing, I want to again than everyone for your continued support, work, and success. Without the help of our brothers AOH success on any level would be impossible. We continue to demonstrate every day the TOGEATHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at DJOCONNELL@YSU.EDU or call on 330-518-4450. Thank you and God Bless, Danny O.



Chairman, Charities and Missions

This is my final report after four years on the National Board.  I would like to thank Worthy President Boyle for appointing me to what I consider two of the most important jobs on the National Board.  That is, the Organizational Committee and the Charities and Missions Committee.

I would like to thank the State Presidents, the State Organizers and the members at large for their help bringing in 22 new Divisions, 2 new County Boards and 1 new State Board while I was National Organizer.  I could not have done that without your help.  As for the Charities and Missions, we all know that the third pillar of our motto is “ … True Christian Charity”.  And that is what we practice every time we raise money or donate our time to help others.  I am proud and thankful to all of our jurisdictions for their efforts.

These past four years under the guidance of President Boyle this National Board accomplished many milestones.  All of your National Officers performed their duties superbly.  I am honored to be associated with and to have work with these men.

I am looking forward to seeing and meeting you at the National Convention this July.  It is going to be a great time – don’t miss it.

Finally, I would like to again thank all of you for your efforts in making our Order the most outstanding Organization in the country.  And as we say in the Donegal Irish (Gaeilge Thir Chonaill),  Mo chairde, go raibh maith agaibh agus tchifidh me thu, le cuidiu De.  Slan go foill.